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New media: arboreal - tree cathedral

Updated: Mar 24

In 2020, Thesmar conceptualized a vision of "near symmetry" prevalent among trees. A star magnolia, in particular, captivated her with its remarkable resemblance to a genuine crystal, where its branches formed parallel ridges adorned with blossoms. It looked like a tree cathedral.

Thesmar observes that trees exhibit a discernible regularity in their patterns. "Whether in isolation or within a forest," she explains, "the branches of trees form parallel grids, harmoniously repeating themselves. Even a single broken branch disrupts the overall harmony. The directional patterns remain constant, whether moving through a forest or circling a tree."

To manifest this vision, Thesmar created artistic images and videos that unveil the quasi-crystalline structure. The resulting video evokes an impression of an arboreal cathedral and underscores the artist's fascination with light. Yet, its significance transcends aesthetic considerations. The inclusion of a Penrose tiling design, resembling the branching shapes, illustrates the hypothesis of trees as quasi-crystals of order 5. Nonetheless, the captivating beauty of a tree in motion primarily showcases the vital essence of these living organisms. The presence of trees is often taken for granted, and overlooked in the contemporary world. Here, however, they reveal an awe-inspiring inner animation, leaving no doubt that they are vibrant forms of life engaged in a graceful dance. Additionally, the observer may question sometimes if they are witnessing two-dimensional or voluminous structures, showcasing an illusion radically different from perspective. Ultimately, the artwork is titled "Panopticon," alluding to its medium, the video, as well as the videographer's movements around the tree, subtly capturing the gradual growth of the plant. The intention behind this piece is to invert the customary gaze directed towards nature, enabling us to embody the immobility of a tree and confront the continuous development of life itself.

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